The postscript murders by Elly Griffiths

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Winner of the 2020 Edgar Award for Best Novel, The Stranger Diaries introduced Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur who returns to solve more mysteries in The postscript murders. A ninety-year-old woman, Peggy Smith, has died, her death believed to because of a heart condition, but her carer Natalka, knows there is something suspicious when she uncovers multiple murder mysteries all dedicated to Peggy, PS: for PS. Two of Peggy’s friends, Edwin, an elderly ex-broadcaster who lives in the apartment building and Benedict, an ex-monk who runs a café on the beach, join with Natalka and when they are faced with a gunman who steals one of the books, Harbinder decides there is something suspicious going on. It turns out that Peggy had functioned as a murder consultant for authors of crime novels and Natalka, Edwin and Benedict decide to follow two of the authors to Aberdeen. From then on things begin to escalate as the action moves to a literary festival in Aberdeen, to Edinburgh and back to the English coast with authors being murdered.

Readers who enjoy reading about books and the publishing industry will find much to enjoy in the pages of the book, as publisher, agents, and editors as well as literary festivals are all described by a knowledgeable author. Those who enjoy following clues and trying to work out who committed the crimes will be in for some surprises in this entertaining and twisty novel. It could be read as a stand-alone, as Griffiths has the happy knack of making different supporting characters play a very important role in the action and narration of each of her novels.

A cosy mystery, this is multi-layered and complex, the narrative engrossing and easy to read.

Themes: Books and publishing, Murder.

Pat Pledger